Days 15-20, No Alcohol

September 4, 2017

Still going strong with the no alcohol challenge. I got a little lazy about posting for the last few days. It’s like a snowball, once I go one day without posting, subsequent days become easier and easier.

In any case, since my last post, I have been on two alcohol-free dates with two different people. During both of them, I felt more like myself than I would have if I had been drinking. It is so much easier to carry on a real conversation over coffee than it is in a bar. Regardless of whether or not I take up drinking again at the end of this year-long challenge or not, alcohol-free dating will definitely be my thing.

Happy Labor Day! Thanks for reading!

 

Day 13, No Alcohol

August 28, 2017

Today I got back to feeling good for the first time since falling off the wagon on Friday night. I was clear-headed and optimistic. It was easy to be patient. I was productive for most of the day and even spent some quality time hanging out with my best friend. She told me she wanted to cut back on her drinking, too. She decided to only drink on weekends, completely abstaining during the week. It made me feel good that I was at least a partial influence on her decision to cut back. As I wrote previously, cutting back and making rules did not work for me personally, but I imagine it can work for many people, including my friend. I made my “One Year No Alcohol” choice because cutting back was difficult for me. I kept making excuses for why I was going to start cutting back tomorrow.

Over my morning coffee, I read an article in last week’s Economist about how women, minorities, and the elderly are all becoming heavier drinkers, to detrimental effects. In 2012-2013, the percentage of Americans with “Alcohol Use Disorder” was over 13%, 30 million people, up from 8.5% only nine years earlier. We Americans are literally drinking ourselves to death, and the problem is growing. And there are similar results all over the world, including Europe and Australia.

Alcohol is becoming more and more influential in our lives. I salute everyone out there who has struggled with this and is actively trying to break this influence. As well as, of course, the people who have already conquered it.

Writing this blog and knowing that people are reading it has helped keep me accountable and on track towards my “One Year No Alcohol Goal.” Thank you for helping me along.

 

Days 10 and 11, Alcohol! Day 12, No Alcohol

August 27, 2017

A couple days ago, I messed up. I had some friends coming over for dinner and we planned to go out on the town after. My first night out since I moved to D.C. I made a nice roast chicken with carrots and fennel and served the wine. At first, no issue. Then towards the end of dinner, I refilled a friend’s glass of wine and went ahead and served one to myself. I stupidly followed my impulse.

From there, I continued to drink over Friday night and into early Saturday morning (which is why I am counting two days with alcohol). I guess I felt that since I had broken my promise to myself that I might as well keep going. Nothing too excessive. I was still enough in my mind to make sure that I and everyone else got home safely, but I failed in my challenge. With nothing to show for it. I realized the next day I would have had just as good of a time if I were sipping water.  It was a fun time, but drinking did not contribute to that.

Drinking did contribute to my hangover the next day. I woke up feeling terrible, even though this had not been an especially excessive night according to my previous track record. I did not go on my morning run, I broke my diet, and the most productive thing I did all day was lay on the couch. Standing up made me feel nauseous. Sunday I was more productive but still felt off. Drinking ruined my entire weekend. Having broken my challenge, I felt ashamed and weak.

There was something good out of it, however. Since I had about ten days of complete sobriety before this weekend, I could discern how awful the alcohol made my body feel. I think that when I drank nearly every day I did not have this feeling, but it did not mean that the alcohol wasn’t damaging my body or making me feel bad. So I can take this slip-up as motivation to keep going with the challenge. With an extra nine days added on at the end, of course.

Now it’s Sunday, and I have never been so happy in my life to not be drinking! This weekend was a setback but this week I will regain my strength.